Crime & Courts

Agencies get new cars to catch DUI motorists

Using federal funds, the S.C. Department of Public Safety has awarded 15 new police vehicles to 15 police agencies around the state.

The new cars - which will be used to help crack down on drunken and drug-impaired drivers in the holiday season - will be fitted with special siren and light police packages. Among the agencies getting either a new Dodge Charger or a Chevrolet Tahoe are the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and the Benedict College police department.

During DPS' Sober or Slammer! Christmas/New Year's holiday period from Dec. 12, 2008, to Jan. 1, 2009, 21 people were killed in DUI-related crashes. Impaired driving remains the top cause of traffic fatalities in South Carolina.

The grants for the new cars are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

- John Monk